Cairo Santos

Bears Re-Sign K Cairo Santos

Cairo Santos is sticking around Chicago. The Bears have signed the impending free agent kicker to a new five-year deal, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).

The deal is worth $16MM and has a maximum value of $17.5MM, according to Biggs. However, the final two years of the deal are voidable, effectively making it a three-year, $9MM deal (with a max value of $11MM). The entire deal includes $4.575MM in guaranteed money, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter).

Santos initially joined the Bears last offseason, but he was cut at the end of preseason. He quickly rejoined the team when kicker Eddy Pineiro landed on IR, and Santos proceeded to put forth one of the best kicking seasons in franchise history. The 29-year-old connected on 3o of his 32 field goal attempts, leading to a franchise-best field goal percentage (93.8). He also set the franchise mark in consecutive field goals made, connecting on 27-straight during the 2020 campaign.

Santos spent the first three-plus seasons of his career with the Chiefs, but he’s bounced around the NFL since getting dumped during the 2017 season. He had a previous stint with the Bears to finish his 2017 campaign, and he’s since spent time with the Jets, Rams, Buccaneers, and Titans. The kicker’s recent inconsistency (he made only 68.8% of his kicks between the 2017 and 2019 seasons) explains why he hasn’t been able to find a steady gig, but it sounds like he’s found a home in Chicago. Similarly, the Bears have finally found an answer at kicker, at least for the next few seasons. As Biggs writes, the Bears have had a carousel at the position since letting go of Robbie Gould in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Notes: Desai, Robinson, Massie, Skrine

Earlier this week, Sean Desai met with the media for the first time since being promoted to the role of defensive coordinator. While the 37-year-old will take over a defense that has ranked as a top-10 DVOA unit in each of the past three seasons, they’ve also seen some regression since peaking in 2018. However, Desai doesn’t believe the defensive needs a significant overhaul.

“I’m not a big car guy, so my analogies may not be great, but this is like a tune up,” Desai said (via the team’s website). “We’re going to refine some things and we’re going to make sure our players are playing to their strengths on a consistent basis and they’re going to buy into the system and the whys and the hows of why we’re doing certain things. But we’ve got a good defense. We’ve got really good players here.”

“There was some regression, and we’re going to overcome that,” Desai added. “But we’re going to do it in a positive way and we’re going to do it where the players are going to be able to shine through that defense. So I think we’ll build some depth and we’ll continue with our tough, physical mindset of play and do that over a 16- to 20-week season.”

Some more notes out of Chicago…

  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that the Bears are “prepared” to tag wideout Allen Robinson with the hope of eventually signing him to a long-term deal. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that it will be difficult to fit a franchised Robinson into a reduced 2021 cap, but the writer also admits that replacing Robinson would be a more daunting task.
  • Speaking of the cap, Biggs provided some cost-cutting options for the Bears. The team could move on from right tackle Bobby Massie, although that would open a spot on the offensive line. Cornerback Buster Skrine could also lose his roster spot, especially since he has a $500K roster bonus due in March. Finally, Biggs also whether the front office will be receptive to paying tight end Jimmy Graham $7MM this season.
  • As for restructured contracts, Biggs points to pass rusher Khalil Mack and safety Eddie Jackson, and he notes that the team could also extend cornerback Kyle Fuller. Alternatively, the team could look to retain free agents like Cairo Santos and Cordarrelle Patterson on low-money pacts.
  • Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic passed along a few Bears players who have increased their 2021 salaries via proven performance escalators (Twitter links): defensive end Bilal Nichols (from $920K to $2.183MM) and guard James Daniels ($1.437MM to $2.183MM),. Their new salaries are contingent on the final 2021 cap number.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves. Many of these roster decisions involve practice squad promotions. Under the new CBA, teams are permitted to promote two P-squad players without corresponding roster moves per week. Teams can carry 55 players on their rosters for game days and can have up to 48 active.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Promoted: RB Nathan Cottrell, TE Ben Ellefson

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: DB Nate Brooks

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Bears Announce 16-Man Practice Squad

Teams are starting to announce their full expanded practice squads, and we’ll be bringing you recaps all day. Just in is the Chicago Bears, who announced a full slate of 16 players:

  • QB Tyler Bray
  • RB Artavis Pierce
  • WR Reggie Davis
  • S Stephen Denmark
  • WR Thomas Ives
  • WR Rodney Adams
  • TE Jesper Horsted
  • OL Sam Mustipher
  • OL Jamon Brown
  • OL Lachavious Simmons
  • OL Badara Traore
  • DT Abdullah Anderson
  • DE LaCale London
  • LB Rashad Smith
  • S Xavier Crawford
  • K Cairo Santos

Bray has bounced between the practice squad and active roster the past couple of years now, and will serve as the third quarterback behind Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles. Santos is a veteran kicker with a good amount of experience. Right after he was cut we heard the Bears might be planning on him kicking Week 1 against the Lions if Eddy Pineiro still isn’t ready to come back from his groin injury.

Everybody on this list was with the Bears for camp except Brown, who was cut by the Falcons last month. He signed a three-year $18.75MM deal last March, and started nine games for Atlanta last season.

Bears Release K Cairo Santos

Cairo Santos‘ time in Chicago didn’t last long. Just a couple weeks after signing with the Bears, the veteran kicker has been informed of his release, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

That being said, that doesn’t mean Santos won’t end up kicking for the team. Kicker Eddy Pineiro has been sidelined by a groin injury, and Biggs writes the team just wanted to have him make the initial 53 so he wouldn’t have to be lost for the season by going on injured reserve. Biggs doesn’t think Pineiro will be ready to kick Week 1, and he thinks the plan may be to re-sign Santos after the weekend and have him kick against Detroit.

Kicking has been a sore spot for the Bears the last few years, and it looks like things are up in the air yet again. Santos was the Chiefs’ kicker from 2014-17, but was replaced following an injury and has bounced around the league since. He spent a couple weeks with Chicago toward the end of the 2017 season, so there’s plenty of familiarity here.

Bears To Sign K Cairo Santos

The Bears are expected to sign kicker Cairo Santos, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Schefter’s ESPN colleague, Field Yates, had reported shortly beforehand that Chicago was bringing Santos in for a workout (Twitter link).

Santos signed with the Chiefs as a UDFA in 2014 and served as Kansas City’s kicker from 2014-16. He was largely successful during that time, never hitting less than 81.1% of his kicks and nailing a very strong 88.6% in 2016. But a groin injury derailed his career a bit, and KC waived him partway through the 2017 season. The Bears picked him up a few weeks later, but he appeared in just two games for Chicago before landing on IR.

Over the past two seasons, Santos has suited up for the Rams, Bucs, and Titans. He hooked on with Tennessee just before the start of the 2019 season to replace the injured Ryan Succop, but his stint in the Music City was disastrous. In his fifth game with the Titans, Santos missed four field goals in a 14-7 loss, and he was cut shortly thereafter.

The Bears appeared to stabilize their kicking situation with Eddy Pineiro in 2019. Pineiro won the job after an open casting call last offseason, and he ultimately connected on 23 of 28 field goal tries and 27 of 29 PATs. But as Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets, head coach Matt Nagy gave a non-answer yesterday when asked how Pineiro was doing in camp thus far. Apparently, Pineiro did not attempt a single field goal during the portions of practice that were open to the media this past week, so there is plenty of speculation that Santos may be more than just veteran competition.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Drop Cairo Santos

The Titans have released kicker Cairo Santos, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This doesn’t come as a big surprise after Santos missed four field goals in Sunday’s 14-7 loss to the Bills. 

Santos joined the Titans in early September, replacing the injured Ryan Succop. Since then, he’s missed five of nine field goal tries, with most of those misses coming on Sunday.

In seven games for the Bucs in 2018, Santos made 9-of-12 field goals and nailed all 17 of his extra points. Santos also saw time in a pair of games for the Rams last year.

Santos will now look to peddle his feet someplace else as the Titans move on to a new place kicker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Sign Cairo Santos

At the last minute, the Titans have made a kicking change. The Titans will place Ryan Succop on IR and sign Cairo Santos to take his place, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Schefter hears that both Santos and former Bears kicker Cody Parkey auditioned for Tennessee this week and Santos, apparently, turned in the better performance.

Santos spent the offseason with the Bucs before losing the job to rookie Matt Gay. In seven games for the Bucs in 2018, Santos made 9-of-12 field goals and nailed all 17 of his extra points. Santos also saw time in a pair of games for the Rams.

Buccaneers Reach 53-Man Max

The Bucs are in the books with their 53-man roster. To get there, they’ve (naturally) dropped a boatload of players.

Among those released is running back Andre Ellington, who was out of football in 2018 but was thought to have a good shot at the roster thanks to his history with Bruce Arians in Arizona. UDFA tailback Bruce Anderson is also out, despite his pass-catching prowess.

Kicker Cairo Santos has also been shown the door after re-signing with the team in March. With that, Matt Gay has won the job.

The rest of the breakdown is below.

WAIVED:

· S John Battle

· DL Terry Beckner

· T Cole Boozer

· S Kentrell Brice

· WR Emanuel Hall

· S Isaiah Johnson

· TE Jordan Leggett

· OLB Noah Spence

· C Nate Trewyn

· CB Mazzi Wilkins

WAIVED/INJURED:

· DL Jeremiah Ledbetter

WAIVED/NON-FOOTBALL INJURY:

· QB Nick Fitzgerald

RELEASED:

· K Cairo Santos

Cairo Santos To Re-Sign With Buccaneers

Cairo Santos will re-sign with the Buccaneers, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). Greg Auman of The Athletic first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal, and Auman added that it is expected to be a one-year pact. (Twitter link).

The 27-year-old has bounced around the NFL since being waived by the Chiefs in 2017. Over the past year, Santos has had separate stints with the Jets, Rams, and Buccaneers. He joined Tampa in November following the release of Chandler Catanzaro, and the veteran proceeded to be a solid addition for his new squad.

In seven games, Santos connected on nine of his 12 field goal attempts, and he converted all 17 of his extra point tries. Santos completed at least 80-percent of his field goal attempts during his first three seasons in the NFL, and some stability may allow him to return to that level.